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Paystack's US$8 million funding to boost African merchants

Paystack's US million funding to boost African merchants

Paystack, a Nigeria-based startup providing payments tools to businesses in Africa, has raised US$8 million in Series A funding.

According to information supplied, the round was led by software platform Stripe, and includes Visa, follow-on funding from Tencent and Y Combinator, as well as angel investors Tom Stafford (Managing Partner at DST Global), Gbenga Oyebode (founding partner of Aluko & Oyebode and Board member of MTN Nigeria), and Dale Mathias (Co-founder, Innovation Partners Africa).

Paystack was launched in January 2016 by Shola Akinlade (CEO) and Ezra Olubi (CTO) and the business claims to process over 15% of all online transactions in Nigeria.

The company provides APIs to help developers "quickly build modern payment experiences online", including custom checkout experiences, automated recurring billing systems for subscription products and the ability to instantly send bulk transfers to any local bank account.

This latest round of funding brings the company's total investment to date to over US$10 million, with investors that include Tencent, Y Combinator, Comcast Ventures, and Ventures Platform.

Paystack's value proposition includes a dashboard growth tool which enables businesses to closely monitor and act on every aspect of operational performance.

Akinlade said, "As recently as 2015, it was really difficult for a developer or business owner in Nigeria to quickly start accepting online payments. We started Paystack because we believe that better payments tools are one of the most important things that African businesses need to unlock their explosive potential. We think of Paystack as an amplifier of the incredible work that African business owners are already doing. With better technology tools, African businesses can be better equipped to play a growing role in the global economy."

Patrick Collison, CEO of Stripe, added, "The Paystack founders are highly technical, fanatically customer oriented, and unrelentingly impatient. We're excited to back such people in one of the world's fastest-growing regions."

Otto Williams, Head for Strategic Partnerships, Fintechs and Ventures for Visa in Central & Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa (CEMEA), said, "Africa is central to Visa's long-term growth strategy, especially when you consider how cash is still a primary payment option for millions on the continent. Our investment in Paystack aligns with the kind of investments we look for - those that will help extend our reach into the global commerce ecosystem as it changes and grows, and that will provide mutually beneficial business opportunities."

Paystack's executive say the new round of funding will be used to scale the company's engineering team, deepen payments infrastructure, and accelerate expansion.

Akinlade adds: "As Paystack looks to expand rapidly across the continent, we're thrilled to have the benefit of the deep experience of Stripe, Visa, and Tencent. Our ambition is to give African merchants the tools and services they need to go toe-to-toe with the best businesses in the world, and win."

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